First of all I would like to wish Tommy McCabe, a full speedy recovery, having said that, I am not going to lose any sleep over it, and this why. There are two basic rules, that every child in the constituency of Conor Murphy, in Newry South Armagh learn at a very young age. First you do not Tout, or become an informer, to British Occupation forces. Number two, you do not remove flags or posters, from poles in the constituency, unless you are a foolish British soldier or an idiot member of their Occupation forces. You will not have much sympathy, from any Irish person, who is remotely republican, if something happens to you as a consequence. I've no doubt that when Tommy recovers, he will at least feature on page three of the Sun, when he makes a full recovery, as part of British propaganda, to replace their page three dolls. I hope he has learned a lesson from it, and the next time someone orders him to do some pole dancing, or remove a tricolour or poster, he tells them to do their own dirty work themselves.
As anyone who reads my articles will already know, I have regularly opposed in the strongest terms, violence of any sort, against any civilians, from whatever quarter it comes. This is not the road to liberation and I disagree vehemently with kneecapping. I believe there are far more progressive ways of dealing with anti-social behaviour, with the legalization of drugs, and rehabilitation, as a progressive step, in the right direction. Now like most Republicans in the US, many Irish republicans believe, they have the right to bear arms, particularly in that part of Ireland, where the British are still conducting their Dirty War against Irish people. Proof of this has come recently, from the British Viceroyal's office, confirming, they have their own specialists inside the prison, where Irish POWs are tortured, stripped searched and anally probed, to break down their political resistance, psychologically.
As has been fully described in British handbooks of how to conduct Dirty War, part of their strategy includes bringing this into the politics of British Occupied Ireland and use tools like Conor Murphy, to break Irish resistance, along with the compliant fools of his party colleagues. As a former chairperson of their party in Newry, it took a while for me to cotton on to what was happening, after which I resigned, as a point of principle.As someone who was involved in setting up their first two offices in Newry, along with Tom Lonergan, I do have experience with regard to the issues that confronts Conor Murphy. First of all, let me categorically state, that those offices were never created for the purpose of collaborating with British Occupation forces, no matter what uniform they wore. Secondly I can categorically state, that it never happened on my watch in Newry, and I am certain it never happened on Jim McAlister's watch in Camlough or elsewhere, as it would totally defeat the purpose of the many sacrifices made by thousands of Irish republicans and would break the ethics of the struggle. Our voluntary, unpaid function, was to assist ordinary people, with everyday problems and with issues related to the Housing Executive.
I had one occasion, outside of the office, where I had a dilemma about this. I lived most of time in Newry, in North Street Flats, which were apartments of several floors. One day a mother from a ground-floor apartment, requested my help, because, she believed a bomb had been left in a dustbin right outside her front door, which was completely surrounded by apartments on all sides. I knew that no republicans had left it there, and the only ones who would do such a thing, would be one of Willie's mob. I also knew that it was potentially fatal, to lift the lid. I actually could hear, as she had told me, something ticking inside the bin. So I gently lifted the rather large bin and carried it into the middle of the square. Unlike the Tommy McCabe incident, I did not ask someone else to do it. Having moved it, I warned all of the children in the vicinity, to stay well clear of this threat. I then had the problem of how, if it was a bomb, to defuse it.
During my may interrogations In Gough Barracks, mostly by MI5, I was aware from the outset, that I was being profiled, as either a dove or a hawk, for future reference. I conducted myself, in such a way, as to pass the attitude test, without divulging any information whatsoever, that would betray my community or comrades. At the end of one of my three-day detentions, they gave me a phone number to call if I should change my mind. Now I have been interrogated so many times in my life, that I have lost track of it all, but it would be scores of times. Now I was also evaluating them, just as much as they were me. They knew for instance, that I loved hurling and wanted to talk about that, but I politely avoided this. However I came to the conclusion, that not all of them were rotten, and I have to be fair and say, that not all cops are malign, but like politicians I do not trust them. However in this dilemma with the potential bomb, I knew it would seriously compromise my community, if I called the RUC and asked for a bomb disposal unit. I knew any information, no matter how insignificant, would eventually find its way, to people like Willie Frazer, the UVF and British death squads, roaming Ireland. It is also a critical factor in the event of any civil war, caused by the British Occupation.
So I called this MI5 number and asked them to send a bomb disposal unit. To this day, I do not know if it was a real bomb or not, I also taped the conversation for transparency reasons. This was the one and only occasion I phoned British Occupation forces in Ireland, it was my responsibility, as I was the only person at that time, taking problems in the Provisional Sinn Fein office. Which takes me to Murphy's dilemma. The RUC/psni are a British force, they are headed by an ex-RUC man. Whether or not, he belongs to the Orange Order, is a matter of debate. There is an old saying in Ireland to the effect, that blood is thicker than water, which at the end of the day, I feel holds true. In almost every British ex-colony worldwide, as a result of their divide and conquer policies, there has been a civil war in almost all of them, as a result of their legacy. Sadly the DNA of blood, is where the lines are drawn. So when Murphy and his party are calling on Irish people to become informers to British Occupation forces, they are I believe being sociopathic.We already know of the many victims of Murphy policing in Newry South Armagh. There are numerous examples out there, of the Political Policing, that exists within the RUC/psni. Murphy policing, has involved death threats issued, to censor free speech and any alternative, legitimate, political activity. There is also the matter of Paul Quinn.
So these are some of the problems. My own expereince has taught me, that policing at all times must be apolitical. That it is primarily a community matter, to be decided and conducted by communities. In the village, I currently live in, this is the reality and it works well. The policing needs to reflect all interests within the community, decided by a dialectic uncensored, taking as much time as is necessary to decide, with every voice listened to patiently. The experience of elders, is very important in this. Women, particularly mothers, have much to contribute in this. In the event of serious or violent crime, then yes outside forces need to be brought in, with total transparency, which must be apolitical. The village should at all times, have a right to witness any aspect of custody or actions taken during this process, including interrogation and detention. Certain males and females need to be appointed, with the approval of all the community for purposes of physical restraint, in cases of violence. Domestic violence also requires counselling by both women and men. Laws and bylaws, need to be clearly stipulated and displayed in public places, so that there is no misunderstanding. Civic classes need to undertaken by the whole community, with discussion groups, to patiently tease out, differing views.
As I have said previously, the British Empire, was built on piracy and smuggling. They should not under any circumstance have a monopoly, on the artificial border, they created within the small island of Ireland. Smuggling is as old, as the oldest professions of banking and prostitution. It's a fact of life, created originally by poor people, to augment their paltry existence. I believe no one or any party should have a monopoly in this reality but British Occupation will exploit these common divisions, within communities, to divide and conquer. Anyone who co-operates with the British, exploiting these divisions or betraying the details, is betraying their own community.We Irish people need to learn to practice solidarity. The reason England conquered Ireland, is that they learned from the Roman empire, the importance of sticking together in close formation, while Celts went into battle mostly as individuals. We can have our division but it should be agreed, that they are resolved without violence among ourselves, in a dialogue and uncensored disagreement, for however long it takes. Violence is an admission of defeat and disqualifies the party from any civilized debate.
Paddy Barry, my first father-in-law, who joined the travelling community, from a farm in Kilkenny, when he fell in love with Norah Barry, the daughter of Maggie Barry, who was Queen of Gypsies, once said to me, there is no nature left in people these days at all. Nature is something picked up from being around nature and animals. It's the bond that keeps a tribe together. Tribes that stand the test of time and all the challenges of globalization, have a strong Elder element, because it has much experience, the most valuable thing in Life. Commonsense evolves with it and they both appear to be rare commodities these days. Newry & South Armagh, might reconsider the importance of these values, if it is not to tear itself apart, with the manipulation of outside British interference. They are important values to be passed on to the next generation, instead of pure individualism, short-sightedness, selfishness and self-centredness. We are all selfish to a lesser or greater extent, but there is such a thing, as intelligent selfishness, that can benefit the whole community. The Barrys lived outside Crossmaglen for many years in a caravan. They had a very big family, whom they fed with a bit of smuggling, selling turf and butter. along with Maggie singing at the many fairs around the place.They were treated well by both the Protestant and Catholic communities around the area.
Smuggling, bartering, prostitution, haggling, squabbling, bullying, are elements of human life, as old as time. Disputes need to be settled by a community of leaders, who listen carefully to the many sides of every story and adjudicate, with the benefit of experience. This people power should not be given away, to outsiders or politicians, who are motivated almost exclusively by self-interest and greed, who will always divide to get their way. We need to learn again and teach the value of respecting the Elders, instead of her Majestys brute forces or the whole community will perish, to the modern day sanitized, ruthless pirates, the Corporations. The Community needs people to empower themselves, to provide leadership with clarity, decisiveness, responsibility, communication skills, that realizes the importance of listening, as well instructing and above all patience to recognize the truth or essence, as much as possible. It's a big ask but if we really want an Ireland, that reflects th aspirations of 1916, we will work for it. I also reluctantly agree, that Irish republicans, do have the right to bear arms, strictly for defensive purposes, because, unfortunately, the invader is armed to the teeth. People also have the right to fly whatever flags or posters they want, and people who remove them, do so at their own considerable risk. Murphy if you don't like my pole dancers, go fuck yourself and don't be making a Blueshirt out of poor ould Tommy, with your propaganda! Below is an article from a newspaper, that many traditional Irish republicans, were very fond of. Unfortunately I heard last week, that there was some sort of issue, with censorship of the family of Mairead Farrell. I am not fully aware of all of the details but I do hope for the sake of Unity in the Movement, that it is sorted out by now. For those reasons, I will not comment further, until a solution is reached. I hope for the same in South Armagh but we have to stand up for ourselves, we are not sheep! Principles before Personalities!